The Happy Ballroom and more – 6th March 1965 by Andre Martin

After the euphoric reception given to Tommy Quickly and The Remo Four, the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier, returns to the togetherness dancing and romantic music of The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra. We are now at Saturday 6th March, 1965 in the History of the Pier. So all of you who were pining for togetherness, you need no longer worry! This will be the format for several weeks to come, but the seed has been sown for changes later in the Spring.[Oops I have let the cat out of the bag !!]
This week was going to a special one for the Witch Doctor; Saturday Night would be the usual presentation of 2 excellent groups, plus records spun by Trevor Ollive, The groups this week being Georgie Bean and The Runners, plus Natures Boys – both of which were favourites at the Club. The Special Night was Sunday, when in conjunction with Alan Jensen at the Disc Jockey the programme was Organ & Drums Duo – Alan Haven & Tony Crombie supported by Hastings own Talismen. I remember this night, Alan was being the perfect host, the Duo was just excellent and the raw sound coming from the Talismen completed a night to be remembered in the history of the Witch Doctor. On Friday the live sounds were from the Fen Men. Disc provided during the rest of the week in the capable hands of Trevor and Ginger Powell.
Our weekend in Hastings had started well with an excellent Ready Steady Go in the hands of Cathy and Keith- their guests included–Petula Clark – “I Know A Place.”–The Moody Blues – “I Don’t Want To Go On Without You.”
The BBC was putting out a lot of pop music, we sometimes don’t realise that the Pirates were having an impact and wakening up the staid BBC. Saturday had a lot to offer – 10.00am Saturday Club with Brian Matthews, his guests The Searchers, Tommy Roe, The Spencer David Group, Monty Babson, Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men, Barbara Kay, Scott Peters, The Jerry Allen Trio plus “ some swinging discs”. 4.00pm it was Brian Matthews and Top Gear – “an express delivery of pop packages and discs” – this week included The Rolling Stones, The Zombies and Goldie & The Gingerbreads. SPECIAL that night at 9.30pm – live from the Ricky Tick Club, Windsor – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames introduced by Tony Hall. Sunday it was 10.30 Easy Beat, Keith Fordyce with The Hollies, Migil Five, Sandra Brown, Wout Steenhaus and The Johnny Howard Band.
Television, had the usual mix of dram, films and musical shows, the pop scene was covered by Saturday Night – Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs, his panel this week – Tom Jones, Barbara Mullens, Pete Murray and Jacqueline Jones. On commercial TV – Thank your Lucky Stars, Brian Matthews introducing Dave Clark 5, Georgie Fame & Blue Flames, Anita Harris, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins with guest DJ Bob Holness and having her say6 Janice Nichols.
There we go for this week, I know that some of my readers will be relieved that “togetherness dancing” is back on the programme! I have to say that for me the best show of the week had been at the Witch Doctor with Alan Haven – how many of you remember “Images” it was played a lot on the pirate stations. More stories and history next week, until then you all take care out there.        Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2015


Mick O’Dowd… I  was getting “cold turkey” from no togetherness dancing. Now it’s back and I can really get it together(or something like that!)

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